DRC Must Rethink Preparedness Strategy To Curb Cholera Outbreaks, Health Experts Say

“With almost 17,000 cases reported in the latest nationwide cholera outbreak, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must rethink its preparedness strategy to curb future outbreaks, health experts told IRIN,” the news service reports. “According to Kossi Ayigan of the WHO, the health cluster coordinator, the emergency response phase of the current cholera outbreak is drawing to a close and should be followed by firm action on proper sanitation and provision of safe drinking water by the government and its development partners,” according to IRIN.

“A long-term strategy to prevent future outbreaks must involve the community,” Pilajie Babakazo, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health, University of Kinshasa, said, according to IRIN. The news service writes, “Benoit Ilunga Kebela, head of the disease control department in the Ministry of Public Health, told IRIN that in addition to efforts the government is making to contain the outbreak, it had a long-term strategy — incorporating research, surveillance and case management — to ensure the disease was controlled in the outbreak areas and managed, ‘with a view to eradicating it,’ in the endemic areas” (10/24).